World Rugby has appointed thirteen officials from twelve countries – six of whom are African, for the Rugby Africa Men’s Cup 2022 tournament to be held in the South of France from July 1-10.
They include ten referees (and/or assistant referees – depending on assignment) and three TMOs (Television Match Officials).
The African referees are Sylvain Mane (Senegal), Talent Gandiwa (Zimbabwe), Aymen Jriji (Tunisia), Victor Ojuku (Kenya), Nicardo Pienaar (Namibia), and Precious Pazani from Zimbabwe – the only female on the appointments list.
Five others are from France, namely; Vivien Praderie, Ludovic Cayre, Philippe Bonhoure – TMO, Denis Grenouillet – TMO, and Eric Briquet Campin – TMO. The rest are Scot Ben Blain and Englishman Anthony Woodthorpe.
The latter will be the man in the middle during the fourth quarterfinal when Uganda and Kenya face off for the first time outside East Africa. He will be assisted by Mane and Jriji with Bonhoure providing support from upstairs in the TMO box.
Woodthorpe boasts of experience in England’s Premiership Rugby and Premiership Cup, plus Europe’s Champions and Challenge Cups. This season alone, he was assistant referee for the Premiership Cup Final, a Champions Cup semifinal, and Challenge Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup quarterfinals.
Uganda Rugby Cranes’ final travelling squad of twenty-eight men was named a week ago on Wednesday while Kenya Simbas’ is expected to be named this Friday.